Less is more - Simple Computing in an Age of Complexity

This Forum seeks to understand how computing will be able to affect the way we all live, work, learn and play. This two-day event, organized and sponsored by Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSRC) , will bring together top researchers from a variety of disciplines related to this goal. The outcome of this Forum will lay the ground for positive changes in the way we research, develop and ultimately use technology in the future.

Microsoft Research, Cambridge, United Kingdom

27-28 April 2005

Computers continue to become smaller, cheaper, more powerful, ubiquitous and more diverse and yet for many computing is still associated with the desktop device. As a consequence, the potential of computing to shape, improve and change the social, cultural and creative fabric of society is limited.

This Forum seeks to understand how computing will be able to affect the way we all live, work, learn and play. By thinking about computing for all rather than some, for the old as well as the young, for those in remote locations as well as those centrally located, and by designing for those with needs very different from those of our own, the Forum hopes to help define how computing and computers could become a 'natural resource' for any and all, wherever they and whatever they do. Achieving this will require not just a shift in people's perceptions, of course, but radical changes in the design of computing which the Forum also wants to define: from the WIMP interface to 'applianceness', from mains-powered to wind-up, from the office to robotic, from graphical to tangible.

This two-day event, organized and sponsored by Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSRC), will bring together top researchers from a variety of disciplines related to this goal. The outcome of this Forum will lay the ground for positive changes in the way we research, develop and ultimately use technology in the future. Feedback from this event will help shape the research agendas for all those who attend and of course help drive research funded by the External Research Office at MSRC.

The event includes refereed papers, posters and panel discussions.

In cooperation with British Computer Society

Programme Schedule

Tuesday 26 April

19.15 - 22.00 College Dinner at King's College. Assembly in the lobby of the two conference hotels between 18.30 and 19.00 where an event manager will pick you up.

Day 1 - Wednesday 27 April

  • 8.15 Pickup with buses at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Trip to Roger Needham building.
  • 9.00 - 9.30 Registration and Coffee/Tea
  • 9.30 - 10.30 Welcome
    Ken Wood - Microsoft Research, UK (Program Co-Chair & Session Chair)
    Keynote - Less is More
    Bill Buxton - Buxton Design, Canada
  • 10.30 - 11.00 Coffee/Tea
  • 11.00 - 11.30 Is ‘Simple Computing’ Less Complex? Experiences from Designing a Ubiquitous Computing Prototype
    Maria Håkansson - Future Applications Lab, Viktoria Institute
  • 11.30 - 12.30 Poster Session kick-off
    2-3 minute presentation per participating poster.
  • 12.30 - 14.00 Lunch & Posters
  • 14.00 - 14.30 ‘How Do You Turn A Duck Into A Soul Singer? Put It In The Microwave Until Its Bill Withers’ - Some social features of a simple technology
    Mark Rouncefield, Keith Cheverst, Dan Fitton - Computing Department, Lancaster University, UK
    Connor Graham - University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 14.30 - 15.00 Just what you need: simplifying electronic devices through configuration
    Steve Hodges - Microsoft Research, UK
  • 15.00 - 15.30 I Just Clicked To Say I Love You
    Joseph ‘Jofish’ Kaye - Cornell Information Science, USA
  • 15.30 - 16.00 Coffee & Tea Break
    Posters
  • 16.00 - 16.30 Digital Simplicity: Usable Personal Ubicomp
    James Landay, Genevieve Bell - Intel Research Seattle, USA
    T. Scott Saponas - University of Washington, USA
  • 16.30 - 17.00 The Social Context of Domestic End-User Programming
    Alan Blackwell - Cambridge University, UK
    Jennifer Rode - University of California, Irvine, USA
    Eleanor Toye - Intel Research, Cambridge, UK
  • 17.00 - 17.30 Minimalism - A Design Game?
    Hartmut Obendorf - University of Hamburg, Germany
  • 17.30 - 18.30 Hot-fork Buffet-style Dinner
  • 18.30 - 20.30 Cambridge by Candle Light Tour which includes the unforgettable experience of punting on the Cam.

Day 2 - Thursday 28 April

  • 8.15 Pickup with buses at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Trip to Roger Needham building.
  • 9.00 - 9.30 Coffee/Tea
  • 9.30 - 10.30 Welcome
    Richard Harper - Microsoft Research, UK (Program Co-Chair & Session Chair)
    Keynote - Why is More so much easier than Less: A discussion on the sociology of design
    Scott A. Jenson - Jenson Design, USA
  • 10.30 - 11.00 Coffee/Tea Posters
  • 11.00 - 11.30 Less is Losable: Metonymy, Pastiche and the Use of Literary Devices for a Critical Reflexive Practice
    Mark Blythe, Darren Reed - University of York, UK
  • 11.30 - 12.00 Liminal Technologies - The Challenge to Trust in Ubicomp
    Mads Boedker - IT-University, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 12.00 - 12.30 When I’m eighty four: beyond safety and independence
    Andrew Monk, Mark Blythe - University of York
  • 12.30 - 14.00 Lunch & Posters
  • 14.00 - 14.30 Inter-Play: Understanding Group Music Improvisation as a Form of Everyday Interaction
    Nick Bryan-Kinns, Patrick G. T. Healey, Joe Leach - Queen Mary, University of London, UK
  • 14.30 - 15.00 Generative approaches to simplicity in design
    Wendy Mackay, Michel Beaudouin-Lafon - INRIA, France
  • 15.00 - 15.30 A sustainable networking architecture: progress on the Ndiyo Project
    Sebastian Wills, John Naughton - Ndiyo Ltd, UK
    Quentin Stafford-Fraser - Newnham Research Ltd, UK
  • 15.30 - 16.00 Coffee/Tea Posters
  • 16.00 - 16.30 Sound, paper and souvenirs: Some resources for an alternative digital photography
    David Frohlich - Digital World Research Centre, School of Human Sciences, University of Surrey, UK
  • 16.30 - 17.30 Panel Discussion
    Program Committee
  • 17.45 - 21.15 Special Dinner at the Duxford Imperial War Museum.

Day 3 - Fri 29 April

  • 10.00 - 12.00 Extra Activities for those staying. EUREKA Tour of Cambridge which highlights all the major inventions done in Cambridge like, for instance, the principle of the DNA.

Submissions

There is obviously a wide range of issues and topics associated with the above, but the following is a list of suggested topics for papers, posters and other submissions:

  • Technical solutions for simplifying life;
  • Social applications of technology;
  • Simple and attractive computing environments for children;
  • Manual not included;
  • Keyboard-less computing, no mouse, no screen;
  • Integrating technology in a domestic environment;
  • Augmenting family life, have fun together;
  • Non-intrusive robots and other automata.

Call for papers

We are inviting you to send in an abstract of your paper (maximum 1000 words) for presentation at the Forum. It is required that each accepted paper be presented at the conference by one of its authors. If you have any questions related to the submission of papers and paper abstracts, please mail camlim@microsoft.com.

Informal proceedings consisting of the accepted paper abstracts will be distributed at the conference.

After the conference we invite authors of accepted papers to submit their paper to appear in the formal proceedings. It is planned to publish revised selected papers after the meeting as a volume of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series (www.springeronline.com/lncs) both in printed and in electronic form. Full papers should be no more than 12 pages (a complete set of instructions can be found at Springer-Verlag’s webpage with information for LNCS authors).

Keynote speakers

Program committee

  • Michel Beaudouin-Lafon, Université Paris-Sud - France
  • Alan Blackwell, University of Cambridge - UK
  • Luca Chittaro, University of Udine - Italy
  • Gillian Crampton Smith, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea - Italy
  • Bill Gaver, Royal College of Art London - UK
  • Richard Harper, Microsoft Research (Program chair)
  • Kristina Höök, Swedish Institute of Computer Science - Sweden
  • Kenton O'Hara, HP Labs - UK
  • Kenneth Olausson, Interactive Institute - Sweden
  • Andrew Monk, University of York - UK
  • Tom Rodden, University of Nottingham - UK
  • Kurt Schoenmaekers, Microsoft Research
  • Ken Wood, Microsoft Research (Program chair)

Important dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: passed
  • Draft paper submission deadline: 22 April 2005
  • Notification of acceptance/rejection/revision: passed
  • Close poster submission: passed
  • Registration deadline: 19 April as long as seats are available

Travel and Lodging information

The forum will start on Tuesday 26 April with an evening dinner at King’s College, Cambridge and end on Thursday 28 April with a special evening dinner in the Duxford Air Museum. On Friday 29 April, there will be an optional guided tour of Cambridge or a boat tour on the Cam (subject to number of participants).

You will have to make your own flight and hotel bookings. Reservations at a favourable rate can be made at following hotels:

  • Crown Plaza, Cambridge.
    Room rate: £123 Bed and Breakfast
    Crown Plaza Cambridge on the web
    Reservation code: ‘Microsoft’
  • Garden House Moat House, Cambridge
    Room Rate: £123 Bed and Breakfast
    Reservation Code: ‘Microsoft Research’

Registration

Registration is free of charge and lunches and dinners are sponsored for all participants. Participants are responsible for all rheir bookings and their expenses associated with attending the workshop, such as travel expenses, accommodation, and meals outside those provided at the workshop.

If you have never registered for a Microsoft Research Cambridge event, you will need to create an account first. There are only 120 seats available for this conference. If you did not receive an invitation for this event, your registration will be subject to seat availability and might require you to send us a position paper.

Contact

If you have questions, please email camlim@microsoft.com.